Friday, June 14, 2013

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

I am sorry to report that I didn't find the characters in Maeve Binchy's Nights of Rain and Stars to be very interesting or engaging. In fact, the word that kept coming to mind was 'Losers'. I am sure they will all be redeemed by the last page, but I won't be around to see it.

Basically, there are five travelers - three traveling alone and one couple - strangers to one another and all from different countries who find themselves together in a hilltop taverna in the Greek village of Aghia Anna in time to witness the not-very-dramatically-described explosion of a tourist boat that kills twenty-four people including four from the village. 

Around the table we have two women who have not made very good romantic choices. One, a confident, smart broadcast journalist, is running away from her choice; the other, the sweet, shy one, is traveling with her choice of lover and before page 60 he winds up in the village jail for assaulting her. One young man is running away from his father's expectations that he will follow in the family business only the son is not enticed by business nor is he motivated by money (although he doesn't seem to mind spending the money his father has made). A fourth fellow, an American professor on sabbatical, has left behind his son, his ex-wife and her new husband.


I was warned by commenter Joyce in KS that this was not one of Ms. Binchy's best. I believe her. This is the first book by this popular author that I have tried and maybe I will give her a second chance. It is one I bought recently at The Village Bookstore in Missouri and I thought I might enjoy it because of the foreign setting. I was wrong.

Anyway, by page 65 I decided I had had enough and now have moved on to reading another find, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, by my darling P.G. Wodehouse. I need a good laugh after all the angst in Nights of Rain and Stars. 

I think Ms. Binchy should have named it Nights of Pain and Stares.


  1. Well, I am so glad you wrote about this book, because I was thinking about reading it for its Greek setting. It doesn't sound very appealing to me, so I may not pick it up after all. I may just reread an old Mary Stewart book set in Greece instead!

    I think your P.G. Wodehouse chaser is just the thing--one of my very favorite writers--reliably makes me laugh out loud at least once.

  2. Hi Kathy. Yes, the Greek setting appealed to me too but I guess this is not one of Ms. Binchy's best.

    There is no one I would rather be 'in bed' with than Mr. Wodehouse. I know I smile as I read his words which is a wonderful way to feel right before drifting off to sleep.

  3. It wasn't my favorite of Binchy's, either, Belle. I actually enjoy her books on audio better than reading them, and often check the audios out at the library if I'm trekking up to MN alone in the car.

    1. Hi Penny. I will have to give Ms. Binchy another chance at another time. Any suggestion? I did see the film based on her 'Circle of Friends' many, many years ago, so long ago I can't remember a thing about it! Maybe I will start there.